Ascent of a Navigable Balloon

Ascent of a Navigable Balloon

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ascent at Dijon in April 1784 of a hot-air navigable balloon. The distinguished French chemist, Guyton de Morveau, was commissioned by the Academy of Dijon to construct a balloon capable of aerial navigation analogous to a sailing ship. Four oars, two sails, a rudder and a helm were incorporated. Guyton de Morveau and M. de Verley were the astronauts. Though two oars had been lost because of high wind during the ascent, de Morveau reported that they were still able to use the helm to change the direction of the balloon and tack to the south-east. However, the design was basically impractical as it relied on human propulsive power which was inadequate.

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Keywords: academie, academy, aerostat, ascent, astronaut, balloon, de verley, dijon, guyton de morveau, helm, history of science, motive power, navigable, navigable balloon, oars, power, ptopulsion, rudder, sails, steerable, tack

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